Contractor’s Corner: Belgard University

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

Staying ahead of the learning curve is essential to growing your business and Belgard University offers contractors an opportunity to expand their hardscape knowledge with both classroom and hands-on industry training.

2.18.13
Benefits include:
• Learn about innovative new products
• Earn industry certification
• Network with other industry professionals
• Participate in hands-on demonstrations
• Get insider tips on installation and industry trends
• Learn about business and marketing programs to help you succeed

New this year, a number of Belgard University events will feature Design Workshops hosted by industry leading expert and television personality Haig Seferian. Presentation topics include Design Principles and Elements, Form Composition, “Do’s and Don’ts,” and the “Golden Rules of Landscape Design.” Gain a thorough understanding of the design process and put those skills to work by creating individual designs while working directly with Haig and Belgard reps.

Registration is open for Belgard University events across the country:

Belgard University – Phoenix, AZ
Date: February 19, 2013
Venue: The Waterfront
5350 South Lakeshore Drive
Tempe, AZ 85283

Belgard University – Las Vegas, NV
Date: February 21, 2013
Venue: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
8050 Paradise Road, Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89123

Belgard University – Southern California
Date: February 26, 2013
Venue: Sierra an Oldcastle Company
10714 Poplar Avenue
Fontana, CA 92337

Belgard University – Northern California
Date: February 28, 2013
Venue: Sierra an Oldcastle Company
4202 Gibraltar CT
Stockton, CA 95206

Belgard University – Overland Park, KS
Date: March 5, 2013
Venue: The Ritz Charles
9000 West 137th Street
Overland Park, KS 66221

Belgard University – Cleveland, OH
Date: March 14, 2013
Venue: Cuyahoga Community College
TBD
Cleveland, OH 44115

Belgard University – Addison, IL
Date: March 21, 2013
Venue: Medinah Banquets
550 N. Shriners Drive
Addison, IL 60101

Belgard University – Chaska, MN
Date: March 26, 2013
Venue: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318

Belgard University – Menomonee Falls, WI
Date: March 28, 2013
Venue: Wacker Nueson
N92 W15000 Anthony Avenue
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Visit BelgardUniversity.com for more information.

Enter to Win a Chicago Brick Oven!

1.2.13

We’re celebrating Notre Dame’s contention for the BCS Championship with Coach Lou Holtz by giving our Facebook fans a chance to enter to win a Chicago Brick Oven.

Visit the Belgard Facebook page and watch Coach Lou’s video, then follow the link to submit your guess for how many pavers are in Coach’s driveway. You’re allowed to vote once a day, so be sure to submit your guess each day until January 7.

Grand prize: Chicago Brick Oven and a Belgard Outdoor Cooking Starter Kit
First runner-up: Lou Holtz-autographed Notre Dame Fighting Irish t-shirt and a Belgard Outdoor Cooking Starter Kit.
Second runner-up: A Belgard Outdoor Cooking Starter Kit.

One lucky fan who “shares” the contest video on their personal Facebook page will be randomly selected to win a Notre Dame grill set courtesy of Belgard.

Each day we’ll be sharing a new hint on our Facebook page to help you get closer to the answer. We’ll keep a running list of the daily hints right here on the blog so you can catch up with the action.

Good luck!

Daily Hints
Daily Hint #1: It’s more than the number of NCAA members.
Daily Hint #2: Coach Lou’s driveway features 4X8 Holland Stone pavers.
Daily Hint #3: One Notre Dame fan is inspired by Coach Lou and gets ready for the big game. Luckily, he’ll have less pavers to paint than Lou. (see photo on Facebook page)
Daily Hint #4: It’s more than the year Notre Dame was founded.
Daily Hint #5: It’s more than the year the Irish won their first championship.
Daily Hint #6: It’s less than the number of fans on the Notre Dame Football Facebook page.
Daily Hint #7: The parking area in Coach’s driveway is less than 3,000 square feet.
Daily Hint #8: It’s more than the number of miles round trip between Notre Dame and Miami.
Daily Hint #9: It’s less than Notre Dame’s alumni.
Daily Hint #10: It’s less than the highest attendance for a National Championship Game.
Daily Hint #11: It’s more than square feet of the Notre Dame locker room.
Daily Hint #12: It’s more than the number of Belgard Facebook fans.
Daily Hint #13: It’s less than the seating capacity of Notre Dame Stadium.
Daily Hint #14: It’s more than the addition of seats to Notre Dame Stadium in 1997.
Final Hint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCLJYcfu_q8

New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Outdoor Space

Happy New Year’s Eve! In 2013, let’s pledge resolutions for a better outdoor space.

[slideshow]

I resolve that 2013 will be the year…

…that I make my neighbors wish their front porch looked as good as mine.

…I finally tackle the garden and make it a space where birds will want to vacation.

…I design a patio that is all about comfort and convenience.

…that I host this year’s Super Bowl party, grill (and maybe even a brick oven) a’ blazing!

…I fulfill my kids’ dream of having a pool in the backyard.

Do your New Year’s resolutions include any outdoor projects of your own? Share them with us in the comments section.

Contractor’s Corner: Hardscape North America Preview

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

This month, we’re gearing up for the 2012 Hardscape North America (HNA) show October 24 through 26 in Louisville, Ky. Here’s a preview of what you can expect from Belgard at this year’s show:

Race for the Outdoor Space
Three Belgard Hardscapes candidates, representing Walls, Pavers, and Permeable Pavers will square off at the HNA show in hopes of winning your vote for the President of Hardscapes.

Here’s an introduction from each of the three candidates vying for your vote:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbCLAJqKkNs&w=560&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbXy91SsatA&w=560&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnoIfLEaUs4&w=560&h=315]

Not going to this year’s HNA show? Not to worry, you can cast your absentee ballot online at our Facebook page. To learn more about the Race for the Outdoor Space election, read the FAQs, click here.

Enter for a Chance to Win a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
When you register to vote in the Race for the Outdoor Space election at Belgard’s outdoor booth (#7452D), you will be entered for a chance to ride home in style on a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

To register, you will be taken through a brief product validation showcasing the latest and greatest from all three parties—Pavers, Permeable Pavers and Walls—where you will be stamped by each party as a registered voter while you enjoy fresh cooked pizza. You must have a stamp from each of the three parties to turn in your registration card at Belgard’s indoor booth (#1216) for a chance to win the Harley-Davidson.

The winner will be announced on Friday, October 26 at the Belgard indoor booth (#1216) at approximately 3 p.m.

New Product Introductions
This year’s HNA attendees will get a first look at some of our newest products, including Medina Slab. Medina Slab pairs sleek, contemporary style with modern durability and design innovation. This four piece modular slab features large scale units and a smooth finish, providing increased area coverage with fewer pieces and giving every outdoor space a grand appearance.

Introduced this year, Medina Slab was used in the 2012 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year and we plan to expand production in 2013.

Labor Day Staycation Relaxation

Who doesn’t love a long weekend? An extra day to enjoy however you like. If you’re laying low this Labor Day and looking for peace and quiet in your outdoor space for a staycation relaxation, we’ve got a few tips to help you unwind.

Comfortable furniture is key in relaxing outside. We love chaise lounges because they allow for multiple activities – sunbathing, reading, gossiping with friends. Your outdoor space should be like a second living room. Choose plush cushions with fabric that can stand up to Mother Nature’s elements. A light throw is great for covering up if there’s a breeze.

There’s nothing more serene than listening to nature’s music – chirping birds, leaves swaying in the wind, or the pitter-patter of running water. A Belgard water feature not only looks beautiful and blends seamlessly with the natural environment, but the sound of moving water can help put you in the vacation state of mind.

Even though the temperature is becoming more tolerable, the sun’s damaging UV rays can still harm your skin. An awning or umbrella can create a shady hideaway perfect for an afternoon catnap.

The last thing you want to do on vacation is think about your responsibilities. Planning dinner doesn’t have to be a chore. Keep it simple with an easy meal you can just throw on the grill, like this recipe for Barbequed Salmon from Sunset magazine. Clean-up is a breeze too; it cooks on heavy-duty foil.

Your patio is your oasis; design it to capture the style that helps you relax, whether that’s classic, rustic or modern. Visit www.Belgard.biz for a complimentary Idea Book and start planning your staycation relaxation destination.

Inspiration in the Face of Challenge

Aimee Copeland became a household name this past spring when a fall from a zip-line resulted in a necrotizing fasciitis infection that caused the 24 year old to lose both hands, one leg and one foot to amputation. But Aimee also quickly became a hero – to her family and friends who saw her fight to survive this deadly disease, to her doctors who saw her defy the odds in recovery and rehabilitation, and this week to us when she let us work with Pulte Homes and other community businesses to transform her home and yard to a place that will offer her healing in body and spirit when she’s discharged from the hospital next week.

An amazing collaboration of businesses, community and friends renovated Aimee’s family’s home in Georgia – you can read the full story in this article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution – to make it more accessible and navigable for her in her wheelchair and with prosthetics. Phoenix Landscape and Belgard’s Georgia Masonry Supply did the same for the outdoors, which now includes a donated Harmony Elements fireplace – the modular unit was pre-built and could be installed within hours instead of weeks to keep the project on track for completion – and planters whose Weston Stone® creates a beautiful structure that can serve as a flower or vegetable garden.


So why is she our hero? Because we always appreciate the opportunity to give back to our community, and this story in our Georgia backyard is especially compelling. But also for this: when Phoenix Landscape showed the family his designs with planters that would be low enough for Aimee to reach into from her wheelchair, Aimee asked that the planters instead be built to standard height so that she could lift herself from wheelchair to the wall seating to be more in the midst of her outdoor oasis.


Aimee Copeland’s determination throughout this trying ordeal is humbling, and her hopes for the future are inspiring.

We are incredibly proud to have been part of this event, and we thank Pulte Homes and Phoenix Landscape for inviting Belgard and GMS to be part of the Aimee’s Wings team.

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